The importance of ethical sugar supply chains

Apr 25 2019

Ethical supply chains mean all actors are paid fairly for their work. At Ragus Pure Sugars, this approach is embedded in how we operate.

What is an ethical supply chain?


An ethical supply chain or ethical sourcing refers to a supply chain in which all operators are paid and treated fairly.

Current UK law designed to enforce this is vague at best. The Modern Slavery Act dictates that all companies must write a yearly statement detailing policies, due diligence and the steps carried out to assess and manage risk. Although this is then backed up by global human rights laws, a clear and obvious piece of legislation guaranteeing that the goods we consume are the product of an ethical supply chain is lacking.


Why do Ragus Pure Sugars source raw and white sugar ethically?


At Ragus Pure Sugars, we believe that sourcing raw materials from an ethical and sustainable supply chain is not just the right thing to do but the only option. Every actor in a supply chain should be treated fairly, benefit from a high quality of life and receive an adequate income. This approach to sourcing has defined our 90-year heritage.

The products we source have often come from areas with historical human rights issues, where labour laws are not as strict as the UK. As such, guaranteeing that we are part of an ethical supply chain is even more crucial, with our decades of experience meaning we have formed supplier relationships in these areas with fairness at their core.

Promoting human rights, anti-bribery, corruption best practice and environmental and social sustainability in these areas is not only the right thing to do but should be commonplace for all businesses.

How do Ragus Pure Sugars ensure an ethical supply chain?


For many years, Ragus Pure Sugars has taken steps to be transparent with our customers and we work hard with suppliers to ensure responsibility standards are being maintained.

Alongside the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and SEDEX accreditations, we often visit our suppliers. This includes mills, plantations and supplier brokers, with each being assessed to ensure they all share the same high standards and responsibility values that define operations at Ragus Pure Sugars.

Participating in these food standard accreditation schemes and promoting the profile of the new policies on human rights, modern slavery and bribery outlines our commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing, meaning that every sugar product that leaves our factory is exploitation and corruption-free.

Contact us to learn more about our approach to CSR or visit our page on the 10 pillars of CSR.

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How do I find my ideal sugar product?

Apr 18 2019

With a product as diverse as sugar, finding your ideal solution can be tough. Here’s our guide to the Ragus Pure Sugars web resources that make your search easy.

How do I know my sugar is ethically sourced?


When deciding on where to purchase your sugar product, it is essential to ensure that every actor in the supply chain must be paid a fair wage for the part they play. In addition, the raw materials from which the sugar is produced should always be from a sustainable source that places the health of our planet at the fore. These two approaches are already engrained into the Ragus Pure Sugars approach to operations.

To find out more about this, there are two web resources to consult: our responsibility section and learning zone. The Responsibility resources explain Ragus Pure Sugars’ commitment to ethical sourcing that has defined our 90-year history as an independent importer of natural sugar cane and molasses, with this being evidenced by the accreditations we have received from organisations such as Bonsucro and Fairtrade. In this section you will also find breakdown of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and how it is integral to both the Ragus Pure Sugars brand and our means of operation.

Our Learning Zone provides the ideal opportunity to discover the journey these ethically sourced raw materials then take from field to factory. The processes we use to achieve this all have sustainability at their core, ensuring resources are conserved and a plentiful supply is maintained for future generations. Used in conjunction, both these web resources provide a comprehensive guide to Ragus Pure Sugars’ approach to delivering products that are ethical and sustainable, meaning you can make an informed choice when ordering your next sugar product.

Liquid Sugar

Our range of web resources are designed to make finding your ideal sugar product quick and simple.

What is the best sugar for my product or industry?


As we have seen in previous blogs, sugar is far more than a flavour enhancer. Knowing which of its many variants is best for your product or industry, therefore, can initially be daunting. Thankfully, our products web resources and product finder tool make this process simple.

The product finder is our easy to use resource that makes locating your ideal sugar product quick and simple. It allows you to choose the industry you operate in and then presents a range of sugars based on the product they are required for. Further filters include appearance, taste and texture, three aspects that always underpin any sugar manufactured by Ragus Pure Sugars.

Supporting the product finder tool are the product pages. These provide more detail on the nature of each specific sugar Ragus Pure Sugars manufactures, from crystallines and syrups to custom formulations, further helping you to identify the perfect sugar for your product or industry. Moreover, both these resources also contain contact information should you decide to order from Ragus Pure Sugars.


Ensuring reliable delivery of your sugar product


Having used the Ragus Pure Sugars web resources to determine the ideal sugar for your product, the next step is to ensure all subsequent orders are delivered on time, every time. Our delivering webpages provide everything you need to know about how our highly efficient workflows and well-honed processes mean we routinely deliver on-time and in-full to a host of customers across the globe.

In recognition of this, we were recently named as a top 20 UK supplier by Nestlé, more information on which can be found in this blog.

At Ragus Pure Sugars, we make finding your ideal sugar product quick and simple. Contact us now to benefit from nearly a century of sugar manufacturing expertise and experience.


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Specialist sugars and their applications

Apr 11 2019

In the UK, sugar usually means the white granules derived from sugar beet. But there is a wide range of specialist sugars used in the products we consume every day.


Sugar is sourced from natural sugar cane and beet. In both cases the raw material goes through a refining process involving cutting, cleaning, juice extraction, centrifugal spinning and boiling, with sugar cane then going on to be passed through the centrifuge multiple times. This is to remove any impurities and to extract the sugar ready for processing.

The process for refining both beet and Cane can be adjusted in various ways, such as changing temperature levels or the number of passes through the centrifuge. These changes lead to the different types of sugar crystals, which in turn can be used to produce golden syrups, invert sugars and custom formulations.

We offer a range of sugar variations and can create custom formulations for use in a wide variety of applications. We manufacture sugar to fit your product requirements, such as making soft drinks, liquorice or cereal.


What is treacle and molasses used for?


Molasses is collected during the Cane refining process. It has a dark colour, with a very strong flavour profile and, as it has a thick viscosity, is perfect for savoury sauces and liquorice.

Molasses can be blended with invert syrups to form treacle, which is made up of different percentages of molasses and invert sugar syrup. Treacle gives a softer, rounder flavour compared to the almost bittersweet molasses. With a colour range of black through to a dark brown, treacle is often used in cooking sauces and rich fruit cakes and can also be used as a natural food colourant.


What is the difference between golden syrup and inverts?


Both golden syrup and invert sugars contain fructose-glucose, but that is where the similarities end. Golden syrup also contains sucrose, giving it a very sweet and light flavour and a golden colour.

Inverts are flavourless and colourless and are often used in the baking industry, usually to extend the shelf life of bread. Golden syrup, however, is used in products such as flapjacks as it binds the product together and enhances flavour.

When looking for a sugar with a high viscosity to stabilise a product, such as the chewiness of a soft mint, glucose syrup is a practical option. Unlike invert and golden, it is produced by breaking down maize or wheat and, although it is less sweet than invert, can be used as a sweet bulking agent.



What is blended and sieved sugar?


Blended sugar is granulated in form and is white sugar premixed with molasses and burnt sugar in order to give it a golden-brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour often needed for products such as biscuits and cereals.

Sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry, as it provides you with different particle sizes from coarse to very fine powder. Think of the contrast between particle size of golden caster sugar, which is more like a powder, and Demerara sugar.


Something more specialised – custom formulations


Blended sugar is granulated in form and is made up of white sugar premixed with molasses to give a light to dark brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour in the industrial production of biscuits and cereals.

Due to their ability to provide sizes ranging from coarse to very fine powder, sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry. We sieve, metal detect and bag the sugar in our UK factory to ensure premium quality.

For more information on our range visit our product finder, or if your application requires a custom formulation, contact us for a consultation.

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What is Ragus Sugars’ approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR)?

Apr 05 2019

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a core component of Ragus Sugars’ business. Recently we reviewed our strategy and how responsibility underpins our brand.  


In 2011 we developed our first CSR strategy that drew together multiple threads of responsibility-related systems and processes already woven into our business operations, marketing and decision making. This led to the creation of our Eight Pillars of CSR, covering core values and activities such as health and safety, quality and sustainability.

Since then we have completed regular reviews of our CSR, seeking always to identify improvements. Our latest 2018/19 review highlights new policies and policy updates that reinforce our ongoing commitment to being responsible.

These include the Bribery Act and anti-corruption initiatives, human rights, anti-slavery and trafficking measures. They ensure every aspect of our supply chain is fair and ethical. As a result, our position on CSR has now become the Ragus Sugars Ten Pillars of CSR.

The most important finding of this review is that responsibility has become so embedded in our business, its strategy and decision making, operations and supply chain that it no longer requires special treatment. For us, being responsible is just business as usual.


Ragus Sugars’ Ten Pillars of CSR


CSR is fundamental to the Ragus brand and how the business operates, so much so that a separate CSR strategy is no longer needed.

However, we have retained and expanded on our original Eight Pillars of CSR, adding anti-corruption and bribery and human rights as we have created and adopted new policies in these areas. The result is the Ragus Sugars Ten Pillars of CSR:

  1. Health and safety of all our stakeholders
  2. Quality
  3. Employees
  4. Sustainability
  5. Customers
  6. Supply chain
  7. Society
  8. Risk management
  9. Anti-corruption and bribery
  10. Human rights


Having embedded responsible and sustainable strategies and practices in our business, we continually monitor our performance. This allows us to identify where further improvements can be made.


What CSR accreditations does Ragus hold?

Our internal standards are high, but we don’t measure ourselves. We have invested in gaining multiple international standards and accreditations to ensure we are constantly benchmarked against demanding third party standards, including our customers.

The advanced plant in Slough, England, where we produce our sugars holds accreditations for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 50001, BRC, HACCP and FEMAS.

In addition, Ragus’ quality control systems have been accredited by UN FAO Sugarmark, and Bonsucro, alongside other leading industry bodies. We are also recognised by SMETA (SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit), and are Institution of Occupational Safety and Health qualified, for the health, safety and ethical treatment of all employees.

During 2019, we will evaluate CSR guidance frameworks ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative, to determine if there are benefits to using reporting frameworks that may better inform our stakeholders about our CSR activities.

Alongside this, CSR is an agenda item at all board meetings, reviewing our whole business from a responsible perspective.

Contact us to find out how you can benefit from our responsibly produced sugars.

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